Phony $50, $100 Bills Could Be In Payson

Police charge man with passing bad bills, using drugs

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Phony $50 and $100 dollar bills may be circulating around Payson.

Payson Police arrested Scott Lee Martin, of Mesa, for allegedly passing counterfeit U.S. currency at local businesses Saturday morning and for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Officer Bryan Watson of the Payson Police Department apprehended the 37-year-old Martin in the parking lot of Mazatzal Casino.

A press release from Payson Police said Martin had come to town with three other individuals, and had passed "numerous $50 and $100 bills at local businesses."

Martin was staying at a local motel when he allegedly passed two counterfeit bills Saturday morning at the same business in Payson.

Police were given a description of Martin and the vehicle he was driving by the business owner and were able to track him to the parking lot of Mazatzal Casino.

They located the car with one of the individuals accompanying Martin in it, and after questioning the individual, determined Martin was in the casino with two other women.

Payson Police Sgt. David Blalock and Tonto Apache Police officer Roscoe Dabney assisted Watson by detaining the individual at the car while casino security aided Watson in locating Martin inside the casino.

Martin was stopped and questioned by Watson as he was leaving the casino and Martin gave Watson a fictitious name.

Watson was able to determine the man was actually the suspect and made the arrest and took Martin in for further questioning.

Martin told police he had swallowed some methamphetamine when he was arrested by Watson in front of the casino and went into convulsions at the police station.

Police also located and detained Martin's girlfriend as she was walking toward the casino.

After questioning her, they discovered two counterfeit bills, along with a counterfeit pen in her possession.

The girlfriend cooperated with police and took them to the motel where they all were staying.

She admitted to limited knowledge of the counterfeit bills, and to using meth with Martin and the others while they were staying at the motel, police said.

Police said Martin was uncooperative when questioned about the counterfeit bills and denied any involvement in passing them.

Following a search of the motel room, police found several more counterfeit $50 and $100 bills.

"Martin was booked into the Gila County Jail for Fraudulent Schemes, two counts of Passing Forged instruments (counterfeit money), providing false information to police, possession of drug paraphernalia and two warrants for his arrest," said the release from Payson Police Department.

The three individuals with Watson were questioned at length, police said, and released pending further investigation into their involvement.

Payson police are asking anyone who thinks they may have suspicious bills to contact them immediately at (928) 474-5711.

Because this is an ongoing investigation, police are not releasing any more information at this time.

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